“We need to fight back & turn the clock forward for every woman and girl” – UN Chief Briefing

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “”We need to fight back & turn the clock forward for every woman and girl” – UN Chief Briefing” – below is their description.

Briefing by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on Women and peace and security: Investing in women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, during the Security Council, 8886th meeting.

“(…) Madam President, we just came from the exhibition you mentioned and, indeed, we were seeing true women heroes and I think their struggle, their commitment, their courage, is an inspiration for us all and I would say that nothing could start better our debate than the testimony of this group of women heroes.

Seen through the lenses of talented women photographers, the exhibit brings to vivid life the inspiring stories of women around the world dedicating their lives to the most important and consequential cause of all: peace.

From the safety of this chamber, we discuss and debate pathways of peace for countries around the world.

But the women portrayed in the exhibition are on the front lines of the fight for peace.

They’re peacebuilders, changemakers and activists.

Defenders of human rights.

Decision-makers and leaders.

They’re mediating and negotiating with armed groups.

Implementing peace agreements and pushing for peaceful transitions.

And fighting for women’s rights and social cohesion in their communities.

Yet too often, women remain on the periphery of formal peace processes.

And they’re largely excluded from rooms where decisions are made.

Today, women’s leadership is a cause.

Tomorrow, it must be the norm.

We can no longer exclude one half of humanity from international peace and security.

Excellencies,

Last month, I warned the General Assembly that we face a moment of truth — the greatest cascade of crises in generations.

As a world, we are stuck in reverse — and gaining speed.

Military coups are back.

Seizures of power by force are back.

A new arms race is back.

Nuclear risk is at its highest level in almost four decades.

And last year, military spending as a share of GDP saw its largest annual increase since 2009. It is now approaching two trillion dollars annually. Diverting funds from much-needed development at the moment it is needed most.

These are not separate issues.

Especially because conflict-prevention and disarmament have been at the core of the women’s movement for peace for more than a century.

And because, as this year’s report highlights, there is a direct relationship between greater investment in weapons and greater insecurity and inequality for women.

Excellencies,

The power imbalance between men and women remains the most stubborn and persistent of all inequalities.

It finds its expression in many ways.

In the rising rates of violence and misogyny that women and girls face in every society.

In the extreme under-representation of women in decision-making positions.

And certainly, in the myriad challenges faced by women in situations of conflict.

In every humanitarian emergency, the clock on women’s rights has not stopped.

It’s moving backwards.

In Myanmar, where women have long been a force for peace – including in the civil disobedience movement – a large share of women’s organizations had to close their operations due to security reasons after the military coup. Many are now continuing their efforts underground.

In Ethiopia, we hear chilling reports of sexual violence being used as a weapon of war. An outrage.

Despite courageous efforts, Yemeni women continue to be excluded from the overall political process by the warring parties. And the latest government failed to include a single woman minister, something unseen in 20 years.

In Mali, after two coups in nine months, the space for women’s rights is not just shrinking, it’s closing.

And in Afghanistan, girls and women are seeing a rapid reversal of the rights they achieved in recent decades – including their right to a seat in the classroom.

Excellencies,

We need to fight back – and turn the clock forward – for every woman and girl.

This commitment is at the heart of my report on Our Common Agenda, as well as my Call to Action on Human Rights.

We want to fast-track women’s full and equal participation in every aspect of life.

This includes across peace processes and political transitions.

Last year, women represented only 23 per cent of delegates in peace processes led or co-led by the United Nations.

Even getting to this point required innovation, persistence and leadership. Sometimes I would say stubbornness.

But we’re working to accelerate these gains.

As we’ve seen in Libya and Syria, for example, measures including bold targets, inclusive principles and incentives can be a powerful way to increase women’s participation in mediation and peace processes.

I’m committed to expanding measures like these everywhere I can.

(…)” – António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations [excerpt]

Full remarks [as delivered]: https://www.un.org/sg/en/node/260228

United Nations YouTube Channel

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About This Source - United Nations

The United Nations (UN) was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.

 

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